As a small business owner in the UK aiming to obtain a Sponsorship Licence, there are crucial compliance requirements that must be met. Your business should be legally registered and financially stable.

Establishing a robust system to monitor and report sponsored employees’ activities, including their contact details and immigration status, is imperative. Strict adherence to immigration laws and maintaining accurate records is key.

Additionally, appointing Key Personnel, such as an Authorizing Officer, is vital, and ensuring they comprehend their responsibilities is essential. Regularly reviewing and updating compliance procedures is critical to prevent licence revocation and legal consequences.


Process to Apply for a Sponsorship Licence as a Small Business in the UK

  1. Apply Online: Initiate your licence application through the online platform.
  2. Submission Sheet and Supporting Documents: Complete the online application, then submit the provided sheet along with supporting documents.
  3. Document Submission: Scan or photograph the submission sheet and supporting documents, then email them to the provided address.
  4. Licence Fees: Pay the applicable fee during the application process, with the fee for small or charitable sponsors set at £536.
  5. Small Sponsor Criteria: Your business is typically considered small if at least two of the following apply: annual turnover of £10.2 million or less, total assets worth £5.1 million or less, and 50 employees or fewer.
  6. Decision Time: Most applications are processed in less than 8 weeks, with an option to expedite the decision for an additional £500, providing a response within 10 working days.


Note that this serves as a general guide, and the specific process may vary based on individual circumstances. For accurate information, consult with a UK Sponsor Licence consultant regarding eligibility and the application process.

You can check the essentials of applying for Sponsor Licence for UK employers!

Benefits of Obtaining a Sponsorship Licence

Acquiring a Sponsorship Licence for your small business in the UK offers numerous advantages:

  1. Prove Legitimacy and Integrity: A Sponsorship Licence signifies that your company meets stringent standards, enhancing its reputation and showcasing its integrity.
  2. Access to Global Talent Pool: The licence allows recruitment from outside the UK, tapping into a pool of overseas talent with unique skills.
  3. Long-term Employee Retention: The complexities of a Skilled Worker visa discourage frequent job changes, fostering better staff retention.
  4. Increased Employee Diversity: Employing individuals from diverse cultures often leads to heightened creativity, improved morale, and increased retention.
  5. Issue Certificates of Sponsorship: A successful application grants the ability to issue certificates of sponsorship for sponsored jobs, valid for a 4-year period.

Note that specific benefits may vary based on individual circumstances, so consulting with a UK business immigration consultant is advised.


Distinguishing Between a Skilled Worker Visa and a Sponsorship Licence

A Skilled Worker visa and a Sponsorship Licence serve distinct roles in the UK immigration system:

Skilled Worker Visa:

This visa permits foreign nationals to work in the UK, requiring sponsorship from a UK employer with a sponsor licence. It is designed for businesses already established and trading in the UK seeking to recruit from overseas.

Sponsorship Licence:

This licence empowers a UK employer to hire foreign workers. Once obtained, it allows the issuance of certificates of sponsorship for eligible jobs.

In summary, a Skilled Worker visa is necessary for foreign nationals working in the UK, while a Sponsorship Licence is essential for UK employers hiring foreign workers.

For precise information and assistance with your UK visa application, consider reaching out to The SmartMove2UK!